The Everglades

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Traveling to Florida at the end of November is always a better decision than staying in DC. Landing in Fort Lauderdale to eighty degree temperatures, I was glad to be rid of the thirty degree frigid weather I had left behind for the week.

As someone who is used to shooting landscapes in the mountains and around waterfalls, Florida represents a unique challenge. Wildlife photography is not my strong suit, yet that is what exists in the Everglades in the hours between sunrise and sunset. Trudging through swamps, I found it surprisingly hard to frame strong landscape shots, and my lenses didn’t allow me to get close enough to birds to capture strong shots.

While driving along a canal early in the trip, I noticed a surprising number of egrets in the trees along the canal. I couldn’t see why they were congregating, but I figured it would make for an interesting shot, so I stopped to explore. As I crept closer to the canal, I realized the egrets were not the only inhabitants of that immediate area. Two fairly large alligators were laying low on the edge of the canal, and another half dozen were spread out in the water. It seemed it was a numbers game, the egrets gather to fish, while the alligators follow the egrets, hoping to catch an unsuspecting victim.

While I didn’t end the trip with my strongest photos, it was fun to explore a different side of photography, and to see how far I had to go to catch up in a discipline beyond landscape and night photography. And the sun-filled eighty degree days weren’t bad either.

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